Christmas 2020 -- not unlike Thanksgiving 2020 -- is going to be vastly different for anyone planning to travel this year.
Not only will the rollout of the various coronavirus vaccines impact the confidence of those who take it and their willingness to travel, but there are also a number of airlines, airports, states, and U.S. territories now requiring a negative coronavirus test to either board an airplane or cross a border. In short, it’s a hot mess of considerations that anyone planning to travel needs to take into consideration.
Airports currently with COVID-19 testing
To simplify things, TheVacationer has put together a list of airports and states that are requiring some sort of test or confirmation.
While the list is likely to change at a moment’s notice, below is a list of United States airports that offer COVID-19 testing in some form as of December 9. To make sure you’re absolutely clear on what’s required and what’s available, it would be smart to check with the specific departure airport before scheduling a test.
Alaska -- Juneau International Airport (JNU) -- Non-resident testing $250 per test.
Alaska -- Ketchikan International Airport (KTN) -- Non-resident testing $250 per test.
Alaska -- Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC) -- Non-resident testing $250 per test.
Arizona -- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) -- Prices Vary -- Terminal 4, Pre-Security.
California -- Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) -- $150 -- Tom Bradley International Terminal and Terminals 2 and 6; Available to anyone. Note: Hawaiian Airlines offers drive-through testing.
California -- Oakland International Airport (OAK) -- Free With Insurance -- North Field Complex. For the State of Hawaii’s Pre-Travel Testing Program - North Field complex or 2nd Curb Transportation Plaza.
California -- San Diego International Airport (SAN) -- Alaska Airlines Passengers Only -- $170
California -- San Francisco International Airport (SFO) -- Prices Vary -- Cathay Pacific Airways Passengers and United Airlines Flights to Hawaii. Note: Hawaiian Airlines offers drive-through testing.
Connecticut -- Bradley International Airport (BDL) -- $125 -- Baggage Claim Area; Must show boarding pass.
Florida -- Tampa International Airport (TPA) -- $150 Max -- Main Terminal; Need proof of travel within 3 days.
Hawaii -- Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) -- $125 -- For Inter-island Travel.
Massachusetts -- General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport (BOS) -- Max $200 -- Terminal E, Pre-Security.
Minnesota -- Minneapolis--Saint Paul International Airport (MSP) -- $94 for Non-Minnesota Residents and Free for Residents -- Terminal 1.
New Jersey -- Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) -- Prices Vary -- Terminal B.
New York -- John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) -- Prices Vary -- Terminals 1, 4, and 5.
New York -- LaGuardia Airport (LGA) -- Free for Passengers -- Terminal B Parking Garage.
Oregon -- Portland International Airport (PDX) -- Alaska Airlines Passengers Only -- $135.
Pennsylvania -- Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) -- Max $130 -- Terminal E.
Texas -- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) -- Select Flights Only via American Airlines -- Terminal D -- $249.
Texas -- Houston -- George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) -- Select United Airlines Passengers -- Mail-In Testing -- $119.
Vermont -- Burlington International Airport (BTV) -- Max $175 -- Near Cell Phone Lot at Garnet Health Testing Center; Open to Public.
Washington State -- Seattle--Tacoma International Airport (SEA) -- $250 -- Central Auditorium, Pre-Security. Alaska Airlines Passengers Only Discount -- Alaska Airlines Gold Coast Center (Seatac): South parking lot -- $170. Note: Hawaiian Airlines offers drive-through testing.
Airports to offer COVID-19 testing soon
Though options aren’t available right now, the following airports have announced plans to offer COVID-19 testing either beginning at the middle or end of December 2020, or starting sometime in 2021.
California -- San Diego International Airport (SAN) -- Airport Itself -- 2021.
Colorado -- Denver -- Denver International Airport (DEN) -- December.
Florida -- Fort Lauderdale--Hollywood International Airport (FLL) -- Max $99 -- Starting December 9; Terminal 3, Pre-Security.
Illinois -- Chicago -- O’Hare International Airport (ORD) -- Max $150 -December.
Illinois -- Chicago -- Chicago Midway International Airport (MDW) -- Max $150 -- December.
Maryland -- Baltimore--Washington International Airport (BWI) -- Still Under Consideration.
New York -- Albany International Airport (ALB) -- December.
U.S. locations requiring negative COVID-19 test results
To keep a lid on the spread of the coronavirus, a handful of states and territories are requiring proof of a negative COVID-19 test. To save time and hassle, it would be smart to get tested before taking off on your trip. If you don’t, you might be subjected to a mandatory quarantine until you take a test at the destination or provide evidence of a recent negative test. Here is information on a few of them.
Alaska: Anyone traveling to Alaska is urged to take a COVID-19 test and produce negative results within 72 hours of their flight. Nonresidents who fail -- or forget -- to do so will be required to take a COVID-19 test upon arrival and quarantine until the test results are known. Nonresidents taking the test in Alaska will be subject to a $250 fee, but residents won’t be charged anything.
Hawaii: Off to the islands for a sunny holiday? If you are and are a non-resident, you must produce negative COVID-19 test results upon arrival. Before departure, travelers must upload the negative result to Safe Travels’ system or bring a physical copy of the negative test result. Any traveler who fails to produce a negative test result will be subject to a 14-day quarantine period upon arrival.
U.S. Virgin Islands: Those traveling to the United States Virgin Islands must produce a negative COVID-19 test taken within five days of embarkation. Results can be uploaded to the USVI Travel Screening Portal or be completed manually if traveling within 24 hours. Important note: Travelers should also bring a physical copy of the negative test results with them.
An extra ounce of caution regardless of travel plans
While the lists above cover air travel, there are state-specific precautions that should be taken into account when planning a holiday visit no matter how you plan to get there.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) offers a travel planner that’s complete with guidance on mask mandates, limits on gathering size, and self-quarantine requirements. To make absolutely sure you’ve got everything covered, it would be wise to check what your final destination requires before venturing out.
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) also has a comprehensive list of FAQs covering things like the requirement of face masks at security checkpoints, temperature checks, and even drivers licenses that may not have been able to be renewed on time because of the pandemic. Again, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. To learn more about the TSA’s requirements, consumers can check out the agency’s site here.